Beijing warns U.S. after USTR initiates investigation into China's IP practices

by Susie Olson August 20, 2017, 0:39
Beijing warns U.S. after USTR initiates investigation into China's IP practices

The provision gives the president broad authority to impose tariffs on foreign goods, though such unilateral action has rarely been used since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995, according to trade experts. Robert Lighthizer and his team will investigate whether China's intellectual property policies and practices are discriminatory and restrict US commerce.

The Trump administration estimates that China's intellectual property theft could cost the United States as much as $600 billion a year.

President Trump warned China of a trade war, saying that he would designate China as a currency manipulator and impose tariffs Chinese imports during the election process past year. The Trump administration's move comes as it has accused Beijing of not doing enough to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

China strongly resisted the US Trade Representative's investigation into China's infringements on intellectual property rights.

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The investigation was initiated after President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday, giving Lighthizer one year to look into China's trade policies and determine whether an investigation was necessary. That may sound like a bunch of jargon, but what it boils down to is that the USA just fired the first shot in a trade war with China. China has been a member of the WTO since 2001. With a prospect that North Korea will carry out its sixth nuclear test within several months, it was high time for the USA and China to cooperate with each other, the newspaper added.

Bannon recommended pursuing a trade investigation of Beijing's technology policies and taking anti-dumping action over Chinese exports of steel and aluminum.

Secondly, the Chinese government's acts, policies and practices reportedly deprive U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations with Chinese companies and undermine United States companies' control over their technology in China.

If the USA side fails to respect basic facts and multilateral trade rules, and takes measures that harm bilateral economic and trade relations, "China will definitely not sit by, but take all appropriate measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests", Beijing's Ministry of Commerce has warned. "If a trade war occurs, both sides will be losers", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying pointed out.

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